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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Daily Briefing: Maharashtra accounts for over 50% of 1 lakh new covid-19 cases recorded; in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist ambush toll reaches 22

The latest on Covid-19 in India, Uttarakhand fire, Chhattisgarh Maoist ambush and an Express exclusive with AIIMS chief. Read these stories to start your day.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 5, 2021 8:57:27 am
Top news today, today's top news, daily briefing, Top news this morning, Tarun Gogoi, coron avirus vaccine, PM Modi, RBI< Jaummu and kashmir, Love jihad, Indian expressApril 5, 2021: A look at the top news today.

The Big Story

Over 1 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases were reported on Sunday, with more than half of them recorded in Maharashtra alone. The state announced total lockdown on weekends and daily night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am until the end of April. With three states including Maharashtra emerging as the worst-hit in terms of mortality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a review meeting and directed officials to implement a five-fold strategy

Only in the Express

AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria, who was the guest at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, said Covid vaccination will open up for all age groups but “gradually”, and that approvals for vaccination in children must be fast-tracked. He also addressed the “Bihar paradox” when polls did not see a surge in cases.

From the Front Page 

Twenty-four hours after a group of security personnel were ambushed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district, bodies of 20 more personnel were found along with that of a woman from the Maoist ranks and an INSAS rifle. Two bodies had been found Saturday. 

The Election Commission of India strongly rejected  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s allegations of irregularities at a polling booth in Nandigram on April 1, calling her complaint “factually incorrect”. The EC said that there was no evidence to suggest that BSF jawans who were deployed in the polling station indulged in “inappropriate behaviour”.

With his ban on campaigning cut short by the Election Commission, senior BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma  took to the streets almost immediately, with a massive rally in the state capital Guwahati. On Sunday, he followed it up with a road show and four public meetings. There was a minor blip, though, for Sarma before the high-pitch campaign ended Sunday.

Decision 2021

The single largest tribal community in Assam, Bodos constitute over 5-6% of its population. Following years of insurgency, the narrative in the Bodoland region is now seeing a major churn, as the BJP tries to make an entry.  

A BJP-mukht Kerala? Former state chief minister AK Antony says he is not a daydreamer, but the aim of the Congress is to have a new Assembly without a representative of the BJP. “As a party, the BJP will exist in Kerala, but as a weak party,” he says in this exclusive interview.

Must Read

At least five people and seven animals were killed in 45 forest fires reported in the last 24 hours in Uttarakhand. Speaking to The Indian Express, a senior official described the situation as “alarming” because the “peak time” for forest fires is yet to come. 

Automobile companies, such as Tata Motors, Renault and Bajaj Automobiles, are looking to expand to rural markets by leveraging the logistical system developed by Grameen e-stores of the  Common Services Centres. “In the initial stages, the idea is to start with getting booking from rural areas, so that the buyers don’t have to make multiple trips to the showroom …,” an official said.

And Finally 

Skalzang Kalyan Dorje has trained as a monk, worked as a physical education teacher, been a sales manager at a Decathlon sports outlet, and often taken up the job of managing trekking camps during the tourist season. But for the first time in January, the 31-year-old from Ladakh sported the J&K colours, adding “professional cricketer” to the long list of vocations on his bio-data.

Delhi confidential: Polling Day in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be special for BJP workers – it falls on their party’s foundation day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address party workers across the country through video conferencing at 10.30 am tomorrow.


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